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The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering includes aspects of mechanical design, thermal-fluid systems, applied mechanics, and automation. The mechanical engineering student is prepared in all of these areas in order to analyze and design complex mechanical systems. Graduates can specialize in areas such as energy conversion systems, mechanisms and machines, manufacturing, materials, and automation through electives.

Mechanical Engineering Program Mission

The mechanical engineering program has the primary mission of providing a high-quality undergraduate engineering education by providing students with
1. A curriculum that is firmly grounded in engineering fundamentals
2. A faculty that provides superior teaching and mentoring both in and out of the classroom
3. A faculty whose focus is undergraduate education
4. Class sizes that encourage student participation
5. Project experiences that build on fundamentals and develop team skills
6. Facilities and equipment that are readily accessible
7. An environment that is conducive to learning and encourages students from different genders and backgrounds.

We are committed to offer a broad undergraduate experience that will promote professional growth and prepare students for a variety of engineering careers, graduate studies, and continuing education.

Mechanical Engineering Program Educational Objectives

The program’s educational objectives are best framed in terms of the following goals for its graduates:

1. Mechanical engineering graduates will be effective engineers and problem solvers.
2. They will be well educated in the mechanical engineering sciences.
3. They will be able to use engineering tools that will enhance their productivity.
4. They will be familiar with current technology and how it can be incorporated into their design, analysis, and testing activities. This includes an understanding of manufacturing methods and how one can use computers, sensors, and actuators to automate machines and processes.
5. They will be effective oral, written, and graphical communicators, and be able to function effectively as members of multidisciplinary teams.
6. They will have an appreciation for the individual, society, and human heritage, and they will be aware of the impact of their designs on humankind and the environment.
7. They will be prepared for a variety of engineering careers, graduate studies, and continuing education.

Mechanical Engineering Design Experience

The mechanical engineering program at CSU, Chico is a traditional balance of engineering science and design. The design sequence for mechanical engineers is a progressive one. The courses which are primarily devoted to design are:

M E 038-Introduction to Engineering Design
M E 138-Mechanical Engineering Design
M E 238A-Mechanical Engineering Design Project I
M E 238B-Mechanical Engineering Design Project II

The freshman experience (M E 038) focuses on the creative aspects of design and gives students an opportunity to practice the engineering design process with little or no emphasis on engineering science. At the junior level (M E 138), there is an opportunity to learn about safety, failure, reliability, codes and standards, and economic considerations, while carrying out detailed design of mechanical components. In the final senior project (M E 238A and M E 238B), students are expected to exercise what they learned throughout the preceding design courses in a final project that includes manufacturing and testing, as well as the more global aspects of design including product realization, economic factors, environmental issues, and social impact. Together, these experiences prepare graduates to be successful practitioners with an awareness of the multitude of issues involved.

The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree: 132 units

See “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

The department has prepared a suggested Four Year Advising Plan to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. Please request a plan from your major adviser or view it and other current advising information on the CSU, Chico Web.

General Education Requirement

Mechanical Engineering is a major with modifications to the university’s General Education Requirements. The following requirements, together with the approved General Education courses required for the Mechanical Engineering major (marked with an * below), fulfill the General Education Requirement.
1. Select two courses, one from each of the Core Areas A1 and A2.
2. Select one course from Breadth Area B2.
3. Select one course from Breadth Area C1 or C2 or C3.
4. Select one course from Breadth Area D1 or D2 or D3.
5. Select two courses from the same Upper-Division Theme.
(Consult with an adviser or The Class Schedule to determine which
two courses in the theme you select meet the Upper-Division Theme Requirement for Mechanical Engineering majors.)

Cultural Diversity Requirement: 6 units

Complete two Cultural Diversity courses, one Ethnic and one Non-Western. (See the “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements” section.) Both courses must also satisfy one of the General Education requirements in order for 132 units to fulfill all requirements for the Mechanical Engineering degree.

American Institutions Requirement: 6 units

This requirement is normally fulfilled by completing HIST 050 and POLS 055. For other alternatives, see the “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements” section.

Literacy Requirement:

See “Mathematics and Writing Requirements” in The University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive WP credit. See The Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a C- or better before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 105 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

Lower-Division Requirements: 50 units

15 courses required:

C E    035    Statics    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: M E 025, PHYS 004A; MATH 007C (may be taken concurrently).

CHEM    037    General Chemistry    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry or CHEM 016. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)

ECE    095    Electrical Circuits and Devices    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PHYS 004B (may be taken concurrently), MATH 007C (may be taken concurrently.
Corequisites: ECE 095L.

ECE    095L    Circuits and Devices Activity    1.0    FS

Corequisite: ECE 095

MATH    007A    Analytic Geometry and Calculus    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 004 and MATH 006 (or high school equivalent); a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam.

MATH    007B    Analytic Geometry and Calculus    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 007A with a grade of C- or higher.

MATH    007C    Analytic Geometry and Calculus    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 007B with a grade of C- or higher.

MATH    007D    Elem Diff Equation/Vector Calc    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 007C with a grade of C- or better.

M E    025    Engineering Graphics    2.0    FS

M E    038    Intro to Engineering Design    3.0    FS

M E    045    Materials Engineering    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 037, PHYS 004A.

MFGT    051    Intro Manufacturing Engineering    3.0    FS

PHYS    004A    Mechanics    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 007B (second semester of calculus) or equivalent.

PHYS    004B    Electricity and Magnetism    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: MATH 007B, PHYS 004A.

PHYS    004C    Heat/Wave Motion/Sound/Light    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: MATH 007B, PHYS 004A.

Upper-Division Requirements: 55 units

15 courses required:

C E    101    Strength of Materials    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: C E 035, MATH 007C. Recommended: M E 045.

C E    121    Engineering Economy & Statistics    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: Either C E 020 or CSCI 065 or ECE 090 or M E 038; CMST 011 (may be taken concurrently); junior standing (completion of 60 college units).

C E    150    Fluid Mechanics    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: C E 035, MATH 007C; either C E 020 or ECE 090 or M E 038 (may be taken concurrently). Recommended: M E 135 (may be taken concurrently).

ENGR    195    Lifelong Development Engineers    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: ENGL 001; graduation in engineering expected within 12 months.

M E    135    Dynamics    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: C E 035; MATH 007D (may be taken concurrently).

M E    138    Mechanical Engineer Design    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: C E 101, M E 045. Recommended: M E 038, M E 135, M E 142, MFGT 051.

M E    142    Equation Solving Tech for Design    4.0    FA

Prerequisites: MATH 007D. Recommended: PHYS 004A.

M E    152    Thermodynamics    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PHYS 004A. Recommended: PHYS 004C.

M E    201    Control System Design    4.0    FA

Prerequisites: M E 135, M E 261.

M E    238A    Mech Engr Design Project I    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, M E 038, M E 138, M E 261, MFGT 051. Recommended: C E 121, M E 242, M E 259.

M E    238B    Mech Engr Design Project II    1.0    SP

Prerequisites: M E 238A. Recommended: C E 121, M E 242. M E 259.

M E    242    Finite Element Analysis    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: C E 101, M E 142 (or faculty permission). Recommended: M E 045, PHYS 004C.

M E    252    Thermal-Fluid Systems    4.0    SP

Prerequisites: M E 259. Recommended: M E 142.

M E    259    Heat and Mass Transfer    4.0    FA

Prerequisites: C E 150, M E 152, PHYS 004C. Recommended: ECE 095, M E 142.

M E    261    Measurements & Instrumentation    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: C E 121, ECE 095, ECE 095L; either ECE 090 or M E 142.

3 units selected from:

Any upper-division mechanical engineering elective.

3 units selected from:

A technical elective with adviser’s approval.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Fundamentals of Engineering Examination (EIT)

The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, also known as the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) Exam, is the first of two exams that the California State Board of Registration requires to be passed to be a licensed professional engineer. Prior to graduation, those majoring in Mechanical Engineering must apply to the California State Board of Registration and take the exam. Passing the exam is not required for graduation.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is strongly recommended for all majors in this degree program.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major.
It involves 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

Your Honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair. Most importantly, however, the Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the university for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or competition in shows; such experience is valuable for graduate school and later professional life.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are

1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. At least 3 of these 6 units are independent study (299H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.
4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.
5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your Honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major adviser for further information.